The term rhinoplasty refers to an operation performed on the nose. Patients may want to have nose surgery to increase their breathing ability or change their nose’s external appearance.
The breathing problem and changing appearance are combined with one in some surgeries.
Rhinoplasty is a procedure that requires special care. Choosing an experienced surgeon is needed.
What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is usually a pre-planned and performed surgery to prevent possible future problems. You should meet with your surgeon and learn about the procedure, evaluate your expectations, and check the images of previous patients.
The rhinoplasty surgeon works with careful incisions to minimize visible scars. There are two rhinoplasty methods, open and closed. In closed rhinoplasty, all cuttings are performed to the inside of the nose, and no visible wounds occur.
In open rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes a small incision in the columella region between the nostrils, allowing access to different nose parts.
Your doctor’s surgeon will recommend the most appropriate procedure according to the targeted result.
Patients aged 16 and over are suitable for rhinoplasty surgery. In certain particular cases, younger patients may be considered eligible for surgery. Most healthy adults are fit for rhinoplasty if they are realistic about their expectations.
Like in any surgery, the benefits of this procedure should outweigh the risks.
During the consultation, the patients will be asked about their breathing situation and how they feel about the size and shape of their noses. The doctor will evaluate whether the patient has realistic expectations about the post-operative period during this process. Once the expectations are satisfied, you may be considered a candidate for surgery.
In addition to the typical risks of all types of surgery (loss of sensation, infection, risks associated with anesthesia and bleeding), the risks that only cover rhinoplasty are as follows;
Asymmetry: Rhinoplasty is a complex and highly specialized procedure, and in some cases, the results may not be perfectly symmetrical.
Runny or dry nose: Nasal surgery affects the function of the airways and may produce unwanted sensitivity.
Bruising under the eyes is common after rhinoplasty; however, this should begin to disappear as the nose starts to heal. In some cases, a revision surgery (second rhinoplasty) is necessary to eliminate the problems caused by the first nose surgery. Choosing a surgeon who is an expert and experienced in rhinoplasty operations is vital to prevent complications or unsatisfactory results.
The Goal of Rhinoplasty?
There are many good reasons for nose surgery,
Aesthetic reasons (to balance or make symmetry on the face, to change the shape of the nose)
Congenital disabilities that need to be corrected
Breathing problems, including sleep apnea
Cancer treatment, burns, or traumatic injuries that affect the appearance or function of the nose
Your doctor can offer you safer alternative treatment options to improve your breathing ability. Sleep apnea treatment or nasal spray can eliminate some of your problems without surgery.
How to Get Prepared?
It is essential to be sure of your expectations before a rhinoplasty. The nose dramatically affects the appearance of the face. A change in your nose can affect your perception of the outside world, your physical ties to your ethnic roots, and some unique aspects of your face that make you who you are.
While there is always the possibility that surgery might not give the expected results, it will help you visualize your future results if your doctor shares before/after photos of operated patients with you. Most surgeons use digital imaging methods to predict the post-operative image of the nose and face, but this image should not be seen as a guarantee of the surgical outcome.
Knowing how nose surgery will affect your image will help you with the mental and emotional confusion you may experience when you look in the mirror.
What to wear
The hospital gown you will be wearing during your nose surgery will be provided to you by the hospital. Choosing an outfit that is easy to change for the pre-and post-operative period will be sufficient. It is recommended to select a buttoned or zippered outfit that will not disturb your face while taking it off.
You may experience some bleeding in your nose after the surgery. Therefore, it will also be helpful to choose an outfit that will not stain easily. Slippers are the best option to avoid bending over after surgery.
Some hospitals have special rules for items such as nail polish, make-up or piercings. It is helpful to avoid all such elements.
Always leave your valuables at home when you go to the surgery. If you wear contact lenses, you should wear glasses at the time of surgery.
Food & Beverage
Before having rhinoplasty, take into consideration eating very nutritious foods. You don’t need to make any changes to your regular eating pattern; however, equipping your body with various nutrients will have an accelerating effect on your healing process.
If you are under general anesthesia, you should follow the diet that your doctor has given you. Your doctor will let you know when you will have your last meal; So, before the numbing process, it is also ensured that there is no undigested food in your body. In local anesthesia, there is no restriction on food.
Blood thinners -including aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs- should be stopped before surgery to reduce the bleeding risk. If you are using a blood-thinning medication, you should first get clearance from your doctor whether the drug can be stopped.
Always inform your doctor about the medications and supplements you use to avoid possible complications.
What to Bring With You
Make plans with trusted family members to bring you to surgery and then pick you up from the hospital. This person should also stay with you for the night after the surgery.
What Happens on Surgery Day
It’s perfectly normal to feel a little nervous when your rhinoplasty day comes. The day of the operation passes as follows:
Before the Surgery
It is essential to get to the hospital on time to avoid delays. As the time for surgery approaches, your vital signs are tested in the room, and last-minute questions are asked.
While waiting for the doctor to arrive, you can wear the hospital gown given to you. If you are under general anesthesia, the anesthetist will come to meet you, and you will be present with the medications during the surgery. At the same time, potential risks and side effects are discussed. After that, your surgeon will start your operation to perform the procedure.
During the Surgery
After being anesthetized, your doctor begins the procedure with an incision to expose your nasal bones and cartilage. Your surgery may require additional techniques such as shaving bone and cartilage, repositioning tissues, or adding cartilage tissue.
Will My Nose Break?
It is common to think that the nasal bones are broken during the rhinoplasty operation. Bones are never broken during the procedure. Cuts may occur in the bones to narrow the nose and reduce roughness.
Your doctor may make additional incisions to shape the stop holes.
After the Surgery
When you regain consciousness, you are more likely to be discharged. Stamping the nose with gauze may not be possible in every patient.
Pain killers may cause nausea; Therefore, some patients prefer to consume more water until they are ready to eat normally again. Consuming soft foods in the first days after surgery is the most optimal option.
Options such as yogurt, soft cooked vegetables, soup, soft fruit, or oatmeal can be helpful. Chewing will be challenging, so foods that are crunchy or need to be chewed heavily should be avoided.
Avoid alcohol and coffee until you have had some time to recover. Very hot or icy meals may cause discomfort during the healing process of rhinoplasty. Eating fiber and liquid foods can be good for constipation (a possible side effect of painkillers).
It would be in your best interest to take a 1-week recovery leave from school or work. If the doctor’s used a tampon in your procedure, it should usually be removed a day or two after the surgery.
You can go back to your routine daily activities within two weeks. Patients who did rhinoplasty operations should be avoided physical activity and physical contact sports activities for six weeks or until your doctor says it is safe. Since accelerating the pulse causes bleeding by causing the clotted blood vessels to reopen, limiting sexual activity at the beginning of the healing process is also necessary.
You can expect to see swelling and bruising for one week after surgery. The pain level is usually minimal, but it will also help if you follow the doctor’s recommendations, such as putting ice on your nose, resting, and using pain relievers as prescribed.
If you detect signs of infection such as fever or excessive swelling, call your doctor immediately.
Possible Future Surgeries
After your nose has healed, your doctor will be able to evaluate the final results. In the light of this evaluation, it is possible to conclude that you need a revision rhinoplasty.
The need for a second surgery can upset you; however, this does not mean that you cannot achieve the desired result in your first operation. Nose surgery is a complex procedure.
If your rhinoplasty results excite you and you are satisfied with the results, you may start to consider having another cosmetic operation. Plastic surgery can be addictive, especially in a scenario where your results are the way you want them to be.
If you suspect and worry that you may have such an addiction, you can meet with a professional psychologist to discover the motivation behind your passion for surgery. You should always avoid doing yourself more harm than good by analyzing the risks and benefits of each procedure.